Kuwait's Global offloads $17m stake

Kuwait's Global Investment House sells stake in Palestinian real estate firm as financial crisis bites.
Kuwait's Global offloads $17m stake
By Rania El Gamal
Sun 15 Feb 2009 09:21 PM

Kuwait's Global Investment House said on Sunday it has sold its stake in a Palestinian firm for about $17.2 million, the latest asset sale as the financial crisis bites.Global said last month it had defaulted on most of its debts as investment firms in oil producer Kuwait suffer from the credit crunch.

Global sold 15.19 million shares in Palestine Real Estate Investment Co, also known as Aqaria, for 800 Jordanian fils each, it said in a statement on the Bahrain bourse website.

That transaction is worth 12.15 million Jordanian dinars ($17.15 million).

It gave no further details, and a spokesman declined to say whether it would book a profit or loss for the transaction.

"We are reducing our investment portfolio by 30 percent in 2009," the spokesman said.

Global, which is heavily invested through mutual funds in many international markets, had sold its stake in Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait in December at a loss.

On Thursday, Global said it reached an agreement with Jordan's Housing Bank for Trade and Finance to release bank deposits seized by a court over a $13 million loan dispute.

The court had also ordered it to halt the operations of its Global Jordan unit temporarily.

The Global spokesman said he expects Jordan's regulator to lift the suspension of Global Jordan on Monday after the court ruling.

At the end of 2008, Global had total liabilities of $3.1 billion after defaulting on a $200-million loan in mid-December, Executive Vice-president Bader al-Sumait said last week.

Shares of Global, which have slumped more than 50 percent this year, fell 5.75 percent on Sunday. (Reuters)

For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.